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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 7, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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their time to provide free care to thousands of constituents of these senators to regular americans in these states who cannot afford health care as it is provided by the health care nonsystem that we've got now. a similar free clinic held in houston last month by the national association of free clinics drew 1,500 people looking for treatment. the strategy at work here is that if funds can be raised to hold clinics like these in arkansas and montana and nebraska and louisiana and nevada it will be a way of doing well by doing good. americans who are unserved by the current system will get some health care. and this dramatic heart wrenching means of providing it to them could shame senators into getting out of the way of reform and to stop them what is presumed to be a republican filibuster of any health reform bill. now, if seeing thousands of their uninsured or underinsured
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constituents in need of care isn't enough to shame those democratic senators into allowing a vote on health reform, there is another way to break a republican filibuster. here we have some news for you. we can report exclusively tonight that two major power brokers on the left have told msnbc that they are encouraging a senate strategy now in which the leadership would revoke chairmanships and other leadership positions from any democrat who sides with a republican filibuster to block a vote on health reform. regardless of how individual senators would vote ultimately on the bill, committee chairman or subcommittee chairman who allowed republicans to force a 60-vote requirement for passing health care who filibuster, democrats who voted with filibuster under this strategy would be in danger of losing their chairmanships. that would be busting a lieutenant colonel down to private. this is cracking heads time in
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the democratic party right now. this is arm twisting, vote counting, are you a real democrat time for proponents of health reform. if senators aren't themselves shamed or pressure by constituents into getting out of the way of reform, if threats to revoke leadership positions aren't enough top convince senators to get out of the way of reform, there is yet still another option. it's through a boring sounding senate rule called r reconciliation. the bill would have to pass with 51 votes or just 50 votes if vice president joe biden provided the tie breaker. if the rules were used, there couldn't be a filibuster. and health reform would have a good chance of passing. it would have a better than very good chance of passing. and so opponents of health reform are now trying to make
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using reconciliation rules crazy. here is a republican senator from oklahoma speaking on conservative talk radio this week. >> they're going to have a hard time because that would be the first time on a major tax bill that that's been done in our nation's history. i don't think that harry reid really wants to do that. >> that would be the first time reconciliation done on a tax bill? remember that tax cut for rich people. president bush's first tax cut? that was passed through reconciliatoin. the second tax cut was also passed through reconciliation. maybe he's talking about some other country. i don't know. then there's democratic
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conservative senator ben nelson of nebraska who said repeatedly that democrats should not expect him to go along with some crazy plan to pass something under reconciliation rules. that would be too radical. ben nelson not only voted for the first bush tax cut done under reconciliation, he voted for it the next time. he was vote number 50. vote number 51 that passed that was then vice president dick cheney. the main obstacle to passing health care is not just republicans but conservative democrats in the united states senate like ben nelson. being a conservative democrat standing in the way of health care reform seems like it's becoming a lonely increasingly uncomfortable place to be standing.
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joining us is msnbc analyst howard fineman. thank you for joining us. you wrote at msnbc.com today that even as you've been critical of president obama's health care reform strategy in the past, you think that he may be onto something now and that maybe things are going his way. why do you think things have changed? >> i think he's being patient and all that patience may work. he's tried very hard to bring all of these so-called stake holders to the table. all of the different industry groups. and they think they're rolling him. that's what they think is going on. a lot of liberals and progressives think that's in fact the case. the president could have a strategy here if he can hang on and get this thing further down the track in congress, then i think he may have a moment where it becomes politically dangerous for all of those interest groups to get up and leave the table. he may actually be able to have some power over them as this gets down to the last moment. i think that's the white house
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strategy. >> howard, the new congressional budget office announces the baucus bill came out today. it says that it will save more money than had been expected before. one response that was highlighted on "the new york times" website today is hospital groups are upset because they say the new analysis shows the bill doesn't get close enough to universal coverage. it won't cost as much money as expected and it's not covering enough people. i wonder if this could be an occasion for making the bill more progressive. >> it could be. i think it could be. there's very little cost containment in the bill either on the private side which is of course the whole rationale for a public option. remember that. so this bill is going to successfully put a floor under the negotiations if you will, rachel. i think the dynamics in negotiations keeping in mind the complexity of the senate will be in the direction of trying to improve the bill as far as the president is concerned i think.
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that cbo thing was significant because republicans put a lot of stock in cbo numbers. now they can't walk away from the bill based on that. >> what kind of pressure are conservative democrats feeling right now? keith is proposing massive free health clinics in capital cities in states represented by conservative democrats. we see other types of pressure on conservative democrats. what do you think is most likely to have the best leverage against them? >> i think people who want true health care reform have to try everything from the outside because the interest groups, hospitals, big pharma, insurance companies, you name it, they're controlling the inside game here, rachel. it's a very tricky thing the white house is trying to do to harness that energy somehow and play it back on them. that's the inside game. very high stakes.
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meanwhile, if you're going put any pressure on conservative democrats you have to do it from grassroots. i talked to a couple senate offices about keith's idea and about this thing in the state capitals, that's not on their radar screen yet. they hadn't heard about it yet. it should be the objective of the people out in those states to make those people fully aware of it including harry reid who is the critical player. >> howard, one last question for you. we've been tracking the politics on health reform every day for months now. it strikes me that looking back at the things we've covered recently, we're no longer really talking about republicans at all in any mainstream sort of way. but they're not the heart of the story anymore. do you think there's any real political umph left from the death party people and health care reform forces we saw get traction outside of washington this summer? >> i don't think so. i think republicans are hoping
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the republicans will show up and vote republican in the 2010 midterm elections. in the meantime, it's clear that the president and democrats control the game. you said republicans are out of the picture. republicans on the hill are out of the picture but republicans in the rest of the country are getting in the picture. they may have motives here. bob dole said he's for reform. what does that really mean? arnold schwarzenegger, mike bloomberg, you name it. they may like the bill that exists, which might not be real reform but they're being drawn in. the president is slowly but surely drawing people into the room and he might be able to close the door without letting them get out. i think that's what he's going to be trying to do down the road. >> msnbc analyst and senior washington correspondent for "newsweek," howard fineman. your reporting, insight invaluable as always. quick quiz. in one news story can we find the overlap of only, sarah palin, tom hanks, and "the new
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york times" columnist frank rich? frank rich does not know what i'm talking about right now and he's wondering why he's here. i promise it will make sense when we come back in just a moment. wheat thins. that's what's gonna happen here. because you're tasty... with toasty whole grains. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it.
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(announcer) we understand. you need to save money. one of the things we've covered intensely for the past couple weeks is the war on a.c.o.r.n. the demonization of the community group a.c.o.r.n. 172 house democrats voted with the republicans to strip a.c.o.r.n. of funding a couple of weeks ago. only seven democratic senators voted against that same measure. today their actions were lamb basted by democratic senator dick durbin. >> we are seeing in congress an effort to punish a.c.o.r.n. that goes beyond any experience i can recall when it comes to this organization there's been a summary execution order issued before the trial. you don't necessarily penalize
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an entire organization because of the sins or crimes of a limited number of employees. why is this organization being treated differently than others and why is it the focus of attention? this organization focuses on poor people in america. they have registered over 1 million voters and i'm sure that most people believe that those voters will vote in a certain political way. folks on the other side of the political equation don't care for that. a million voters voting against them. and so they have been inspiring this effort against a.c.o.r.n. >> finally, a defender. better late than never. about time. gecko: uh, you wanted to see me sir?
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boss: come on in, i had some other things you can tell people about geico - great claims service and a 97% customer satisfaction rate. show people really trust us. gecko: yeah right, that makes sense. boss: trust is key when talking about geico. you gotta feel it. why don't you and i practice that with a little exercise where i fall backwards and you catch me. gecko: uh no sir, honestly... uh...i don't think...uh... boss: no, no. we can do this. gecko: oh dear.
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>> $1 million for school reconstruction. >> it's like the congressman from kabul. >> did you hear me say it was a billion and not a billion for school construction? >> we heard you. everybody heard you, buddy. they heard you in dover, delaware. >> i hope i'm not annoying you, bob. that's the last thing i want to do. >> i was in the roosevelt room with the president the other day. he said, afghanistan, is that still going on? >> it is. half of the population of that country is under the age of 14. think how dangerous that is. they'll come home and find their families are dead. their villages have been bombed. >> we helped kill the guys that did that. zwler >> they don't know that. they don't get home delivery of "the new york times." even if they did, it was covert. we always go in with our ideals and change the world and then we leave.
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we always leave. but the ball keeps on bouncing. the ball keeps on bouncing. >> we're a little busy right now reorganizing eastern europe, don't you think? >> we spent billions. let's spend a million on rebuilding a school. >> charlie, nobody gives a [ bleep ] about a school in pakistan. >> afghanistan. >> remember when you could smoke in congress? that scene from "charlie wilson's war" is our 90-second common wisdom about what led to the rise of the taliban rolling out of a welcome mat for al qaeda and planning in afghanistan of the 9/11 attacks on the united states. charlie wilson spearheaded a secret plan to fund fighters who expelled the soviets from afghanistan. after the soviet withdraw, charlie wilson wanted as you saw in that scene, wanted but failed to continue spending american
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money in afghanistan to rebuild the country. he has long maintained that our failure to do that is in part what set up afghanistan for the ascendents of the taliban. now this week, charlie wilson says it's time for the u.s. to get our troops out of there. in an interview with scranton times tribune, the former congressman said "it's a tough situation. it's probably best to make a calculated withdraw. if i were the president, i would probably shut it down rather than lose a lot of soldiers and treasure. i think that they're looking at us more and more like occupiers. they're the world's best foot soldiers, best warriors and they're fearless. they're fearless and they've got nothing to lose and they have a serious hatred for those who try to occupy their country. i would rather take on a chain saw." joining us now is "the new york times" columnist frank rich. mr. rich, thanks for coming back on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> aren't you glad i wouldn't ask you questions about tom hanks? >> i'm so relieved. i can't tell you.
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>> we're at the eight-year anniversary of the war right now. the argument is we can't leave and we have to take off the table even the question of withdrawing u.s. troops because if we do, the taliban will take over again and will have a foot hold like they did before 9/11. do you think that's the case? >> no. i'm not saying that we should completely withdraw troops or necessarily at all but the idea that we're going to just be on this continuous loop as charlie wilson's history shows is ridiculous. jim jones is the national security adviser to the president said in the past week or so there are probably fewer than 100 al qaeda operatives in afghanistan. so to turn this into the central front on the war on terror as the proponents are doing seems like a waste of resources.
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>> there are probably 100 al qaeda operatives in somalia. >> or queens. >> 9/11 was planned in germany in part. we didn't talk about invading them. >> if we get tied down there, we don't have unlimited resources and we're going to have to deal with real threats from a stateless threat which is what al qaeda and al qaeda like terrorists are. so it's sort of repeating the same mistake over and over again. >> the taliban of afghanistan have a website which i can't read but i did visit today. on the occasion of the anniversary of the war, they put out a statement saying they don't want to attack any other countries, not in europe, not in the u.s. it's in contrast to the last statement from osama bin laden who put out one of these threatening statements seemingly on the occasion of the german election saying if european countries don't pull out of afghanistan, they will be attacked by al qaeda. all of these statements just make me wonder if they're
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playing to our politics. if they're savvy about the debate they're trying to affect. >> there may be a time lag in how they perceive them particularly in bin laden's case. one thing that illustrates is al qaeda and taliban can't be so easily conflated. the taliban is a local phenomenon in pakistan and afghanistan and terrorist organizations like it are international. the tail doesn't necessarily wag the dog which is one reason why this talk that if the taliban -- if we prevent the taliban from taking over in afghanistan, we therefore affect al qaeda is not right because they pop up like air under a rug and pop up somewhere else. >> if we double down or triple down in this one environment where the enemy isn't, it makes
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us less able to do terrorism work around the globe. >> it's what we did in iraq. indeed a lot of people starting with john mccain who proposes we go all in to afghanistan are the ones who dropped the ball by diverting american resources from afghanistan on this fool's mission in iraq. >> you know, i'm glad you brought up john mccain because sarah palin on her facebook page, which is the platform from which she speaks until her book comes out. she says now is the time to act as commander in chief and approve the troops so clearly needed in afghanistan. what that says to me to have it stated like that from sarah palin is that republicans think they have a winning political issue here. >> i don't agree with that. it does show she sees kabul from her window i suspect. the fact is the cards really are in obama's hands. polls show that the war is
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unpopular. people don't want to send more troops. they don't think it's going well. and republicans have failed to ratchet up the scare campaign as they did in the march to iraq with wmds and mushroom clouds arriving here. i think only in washington is it taken seriously as republicans have all of this leverage. i don't think it's true. >> "the new york times" columnist frank rich, always great to have you on the show. thank you for coming in. senator alalfranken got legislation passed. we'll talk about why why a new york senator next. (announcer) what the world needs now is energy.
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>> no longer can we afford to let go of 13,000 qualified and honorable troops. we must do right by our taxpayer. it makes no sense that we spend $1.3 billion to train these heros up and then just to kick them out just because of their sexual orientation and lastly, this policy simply is unamerican. it goes against the very fabric which makes our country great. that we're all created equal.
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>> that was what a call to action looks like. in case the caller was congressman patrick murphy, democrat from pennsylvania. he's a straight, married iraq war veteran and he's taken the lead in the house in the effort to repeal the military's don't ask don't tell policy. congressman murphy held a special session last night and read members from service members that opposed the policy and introduced other house democrats pushing for an end to the policy. there were co-sponsored that signed on to a house resolution that calls for a repeal of the law. sounds inspiring and like momentum. naturally after all of these stirring speeches and personal stories and many mentions of the 176 co-sponsors as if on could you, oscar the grouch popped out of the trash can that remind everyone of the resistance of
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that momentum. immediately following, republican congressman from texas took to the floor and randomly relevant to no particular legislation being discussed revealed his own take on the gays. >> the definition of sexual orientation is wide open to all kinds of interpretation and some day, some court, somewhere, will say you know what? sexual orientation means exactly what those words mean. if you're orientated toward animals, bestiality, then that's not something that can be held against you or any bias be held against you for that which means you would have to strike any laws against bestiality. if you're orientated toward corpses or towards children, there are all kinds of
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perversions. you may want to arrange for child care tomorrow as the segment will not be suitable for children, pets or corpses. regardless of louie's best efforts to equate being guy with plots of several of the movies, there is a lot of policy going on around gay politics. the president is set to address the largest gay rights group in the country this weekend. he'll speak at a human rights campaign fund-raiser on saturday. the gay rights national equality march on washington is then set for sunday. the associated press is reporting tonight that the obama administration is about to name its first openly gay ambassador. the washington, d.c. city council is considering a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the district of columbia and after president obama's national security adviser said this weekend that the president would work on
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repealing don't ask don't tell "at the right time" a senator responded immediately by saying frankly that the right time is now. joining us now is senator kirsten gillibrand. thank you for coming on the show. >> my pleasure. >> do you know when we should expect a hearing on don't ask, don't tell? >> i think we'll have one this fall. i'm looking forward to trying to have one for the armed services committee probably in october or november. >> holding a hearing is a big step because since the implementation of don't ask, don't tell despite all of the controversy and efforts to repeal it and all of the debate, there's not been a congressional hearing on it. what do you expect to be the outcome of the hearing? >> well, the reason why i asked chairman levin to hold the hearing is i think there's an extraordinary amount of misinformation and i think the american public along with our senate colleagues and house
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colleagues need to hear the facts. this policy has been in place for 16 years. we've lost over 13,000 service members. more than 800 of home are in mission critical areas. about 10% of our foreign language speakers and when we have so much pressure on our military, we want all of the best and brightest to be able to be serving. >> do you think that there are republican senators right now who are licking their chops thinking about the opportunity to talk about a gay rights issue and hearings that will be televised and get a lot of attention? do you think republicans will try to find a political advantage in talking about gay issues in congress? >> they may well. the facts are that the majority of the american public think repeals should take place. the bottom line is that people want the best and brighted ees serve in our military particularly with two wars and terrorism concerns all across the world.
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we want these very talented and well trained individuals to be served. most people want to see a repeal of this policy. it's undermining the strength of our military. it's immoral. something that doesn't reflect who we are as americans and it's unjust and i think we have to move forward on this national debate and i think the facts will speak for themselves and i'm hopeful. >> i think that it is persuasive in terms of the argument made to the american people. we've seen polling numbers move a lot and all of the academic work in terms of the documenting any affect on good order and morale in the military backs up what you're saying. we both know the reason it hasn't been repealed thus far is because democrats believe it's too hard to do. it costs too much political capital particularly for a president worried about seeming too liberal. do you think the white house will give you substantial support? >> i think the white house will support this. i think the president supports it he certainly has so stated over the last several months and years. it's something that is time. it's a timely issue.
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it's urgent and it's a call to action. i do believe as we begin to talk about the facts and roll out the evidence that we will have the support in congress that we need and i think there's more support than you think. i think there's a number of senators that are considering their views on this issue and i think the benefit of a hearing is we'll get this evidence out to be debated fully. >> senator kirsten gillibrand, thank you for joining us. good luck. in addition to being investigated for his adultery and payoff and illegal lobbying scandal, republican senator john ensign of nevada had an uncomfortable encounter with reporters yesterday. it turns out the answers he gave them while running away from them turned out to be uncomfortable, too. uncomfortable in the sense that they were untrue. that's next. someday, cars will be engineered using nanotechnology to convert plants into components. the first-ever hs hybrid.
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founders. i promise this is worth the wait. there's been a serious incident in comic book relationships and gossip involving archie and something about betty and veronica and everyone in my office was mad about it. kent jones will report shortly. we begin with a follow-up to senator john ensign's failed attempt to avoid the media at all costs. he revealed back in june he had an affair with a campaign staffer who was married to a man named doug hampton that worked in senator ensign's senate office. here was the failed media avoidance incident. >> "the new york times" showed e-mail documentation that you had meetings with aleege ant air on specific items and doug
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hampton represented them. do you deny that took place? >> all of these things will come out at their due time. there's no question we complied -- we complied with all of the ethics. remember, just like -- senators have a two year. it doesn't mean that you don't talk to them. you can talk to anybody. >> not about clients and not about matters that they're lobbying for. >> i never met with doug hampton about any of that stuff. >> i never met with doug hampton about any of that stuff. the question senator ensign did you meet with doug hampton after you got him a lobbying job? i never met with him after that. what you see dana bash confronted the senator outside of his office in d.c. they tried to ask the senator what was your involvement with doug hampton after you convinced
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companies to hire him as a lobbyist? an important question because former staffers are required by law to wait a year before lobbying their old bosses. and the answer that ensign gave in this interview was none. he said he had no contact with doug hampton on any lobbying matters. >> i never met with doug hampton about any of that stuff. >> i never met with him about any of that lobbying stuff. "the new york times" looked into the voracitiy of this statement.
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>> is there any chance that you are considering resigning? >> i am focused on doing my work. i'll continue to focus on doing my work. >> so, too, will everyone else, senator. we'll all be focusing on your work particularly the work we think you did with your mistress' husband/former staffer/illegal lobbyist. on the other side of the aisle you have have al franken of minnesota who is my former colleague at air america radio. senator franken just introduced and got passed his very first amendment as a u.s. senator. i'm sure that's very exciting for him. and because he's a freshman senator, his first assignment to be honest was a bit of a gim me. a no-brainer that anyone could ever vote against this unless you're a republican in the 111th
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congress. senator franken's amendment would withhold government contracts that prohibit employees from taking their case to court in sexual harassment cases. >> further demonstrated their unwillingness and inability to protect women from sexual assault. >> some companies do not agree. they strongly prefer the privacy of a good old fashioned cash settlement over the alternative, the very public due process of law. the final vote on the franken amendment was 68-30. all nay votes came from the republicans meaning three out of four republicans voted against the if you are raped, you get your day in court bill. good luck riding on that record
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in 2010. a little good news/bad news story for you. researchers have made significant progress toward developing a vaccine for cocaine addiction. a new study published in archives of general psychiatry, a vaccine was found to be productive at preventing cocaine from producing a chemical high. that means the effects of cocaine are diminished. that's good news. the bad news. the vaccine doesn't do much for the addiction part of the addiction. it doesn't diminish a person's desire for the drug. so you don't get high anymore but you still want the drug. in other words the antidote requires its own antidote. that's what the pharmaceutical companies call a win-win. it will probably be cheaper in canada. ♪
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crunch time, wheat thins. you and your tasty whole grain. this can only end one way. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it. even when he thought he might lose his job. he says he doesn't think about it much... but i don't believe him. i think he does it for us. sometimes doing the right thing is just making people happy.
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searching for meaning in the political minority looking for the path out of the political wilderness, the guy that made the biggest splash in the 2012 race for president is finding out the hard way what it means to be a presidential candidate in the party that still worships sarah palin. next month minnesota governor tame pawlenty will highlight a major republican fund-raising d dinner in iowa. we have now learned that governor pawlenty's invitation came only after an initial request for sarah palin went unanswered. so the honor of playing second fiddle to sarah palin fell to governor pawlenty. and the price of the dinner dropped to just 25 bucks a person. it's a world of palin now for republican politicians. the rest of them are just living in it. wallowing in it. feeling very, very unhappy in it. i'm guessing. an hour. another family used to live here before they filed for bankruptcy.
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62% of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt. this man is living his dream while this family lives a nightmare. if the insurance companies win, you lose. we need good health care we can afford
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or visit boniva.com >> i've spoken to the shining city all my political life. we should be a city upon a hill. shining city upon a hill. a shining city on a hill. the shining city on a hill. i thought a bit of the shining city upon a hill. the phrase comes from john who wrote it to describe the america he imagined. what he imagined was important because he was an early pilgrim. an early freedom man. >> actually john never said shining. he said city on a hill. it was reagan that added
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shininess. it was 1630 when john said we must consider where we should be a city upon a hill the eyes of all people are upon us. winthrop was talking about the massachusetts bay colony. at the start of the book, "the wordy shipmates" with no caption there's this. and i thought at first this was maybe something funny that sarah drew herself. it is not. it turns out pilgrims and founders of our country established their foot hold here under this seal. this official massachusetts bay seal says come over and help us. come over and help us. that was the idea? native americans saying hey, english people come over to
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massachusetts and help us. joining us now is someone writing about american history which is something i take great mates." it's just out in paperback and it's great. sarah vowell, thank you for stopping by. >> thank you, rachel. >> did they think native americans were psyched to come over and greet us as liberators? >> who wouldn't be. that's, of course, as i'm sure you know it's a reference to st. paul, who had a vision that the macedonians wanted him to come over and help them. and this is in fact the real seal of the fake colony. and i think it signifies how they thought of themselves, you know, as, you know, coming over to help. whether anyone wanted their help or not. and i feel like this is probably one of their most important bee quests to us as americans, this kind of missionary zeal. although just as importantly, i think, you know, the seal of new
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netherland, where we are sitting right now, that was a picture of a beaver surrounded by a string of wompom, which is, you know, native money. so that's as indicative as who we became. >> new york was about loot and massachusetts was impugning weird motives for rescue fantasies onto people we didn't know. >> that does seem naive. i'm so drawn to that seal. i should stop looking at it. >> it's more interesting. i thought you drew it. >> you know, that is still the seal of massachusetts. they just took off the come over and help us banner. the indian. one of the things the english colonists did when they came over to help is eventually during the piquot war they burned alive 800 men, women and children of, you know piquot descent, so -- >> that makes the come over and help us thing a lot harder to
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keep on the seal. >> but we have always done that throughout our history. like how we liberated cuba, which, i'm sure, would be news to cuba. and, you know, the last few years, we have been helping out all over the world. and so i think that idea of themselves as, you know, chosen by god to save the world, we sort of inherit it. but i think one thing we lost and certainly maybe -- maybe president reagan never really followed through on this is in that sermon of winthrop calling for his shipmates to become as a city upon a hill, what he's saying is that they could fail, and to him, he defines this failure as a failure to take care of one another. the sermon is called "the model of christian charity," and it's actually all about generosity and sharing with your neighbors. >> well, it's -- you describe it as one of the most beautiful
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sentences in the english language. we must enlighten each other, make others condition our own, rejoice together, warm together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body. and you single that out as a beautiful thing. it's also -- it's a very unreaganism sort of thing. >> yeah, it doesn't really jive with, you know, flashing the housing and urban development budget and cutting school lunch programs and things like that. but -- but that image of themselves as members of the same body, it's so powerful and so beautiful and it's so christ like. i mean, i kept thinking about it. a lot after september 11 here in new york how there was so much solidarity and real neighborliness and real civic love, and not only that, like we were sort of literally members of the same body and we were breathing the air that was our, you know, incinerated fellow citizens. so this sermon is just much more
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deeper and, you know, beautiful. i mean, it has a dark side too, i think this ideal of theirs of community and winthrop wrote that sermon, he was the governor, but he had yet to govern when he delivered the sermon and when he got to massachusetts and as governor, his vision of that community and holding it together was to, you know, banish and punish anyone who stuck out or spoke up or disagreed with the magistrates and the clergy. he kicked out a lot of people who were rebel rousers. one guy, they sliced off his ears, which was kind of extreme even for the time. so i guess everything costs something. >> sarah vowell, the new book is -- well, the new paperback version of "the wordy shipmates" is just out. i think it's great. >> i'm going to end on ear slicing. >> you're going to end on ear slicing. i was going to say metaphorical amputation and you went right
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for the literal amputation. we will leave it there. >> speaking of that, anyone who's watching this, i loved your co-worker's hour before this. you should watch that if it's still in repeats or, record it or something. talk about taking care of one another. >> it is coming up next on "countdown," which is i'm supposed to say right now. >> that is what the first amendment is for. >> coming up on "countdown," keith's hour-long special comment, which sarah vowell says you must watch. i concur. next on this show, a comic's controversy which has the staff of the show very upset. a whole different idea. ke and over 108 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. step up to the best. it's gmc truck month. get 0% apr for 72 months on 2009 gmc yukon. or get $6,000 total cash back on select 09 yukon vehicles in stock. see your gmc dealer today.
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we turn now to our comic's matrimonial correspondent, kent jones. >> big news. the archie/betty controversy has changed. check it out. the comic book world freaked out when it was announced that
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archie had chosen the rich, snotty veronica over the sweet girl next door betty. dude, i don't even know you anymore. it got worse. in the next issue, archie and veronica have twins -- twins, and he winds up working for veronica's big-shot father. can this really be happening? yes, in his mind. it turns out archie took a stroll down memory lane, came to a fork in the road, and then imagined what it would be like to marry veronica. he dreamed it. we've been punked, by a literary device! it's like that season of "dallas ""dallas dallas" all over again. bobby ewing's not dead. he's in the shower. so he takes a different fork in the road and imagine what's they would be like if he ended up with betty. they have twins, too, blond this time. it's good to be archie. interestingly, we don't get a sequence that shows us veronica's dream man, or betty's, but you can bet that after 70 years of not making up
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his mind, their fantasy life doesn't involve having twins with this guy. >> thank you, kent. goofy stuff. thank you for watching tonight. "countdown" with keith olbermann, special comment on health care, starts right now. since august 23rd of this year, good evening from new york. since august 23rd of this year, i have interacted daily with our american health care system and often done so to the exclusion of virtually all other business. it's not undercover reporting. it's not an expert study of the field but since that day when my father slid seemingly benignly out of his bed on the floor of his home, i've experienced with growing amazement and multiplying anger the true state of our hospitals, doctor's offices, our insurance businesses, our pharmacies. my father's story as a patient and mine as a